Bob Balchin's been in touch about a fascinating collection of stories which might help to entertain us when we run out of - or get fed up with - DIY and gardening tasks etc. Called Real Railway Tales, it's a compilation of about 60 short accounts of railway people, places and incidents contributed from across the country and edited by two men who can each draw upon extensive careers on the railway.
Here's a description:
Running a railway is a complex business, constantly throwing up drama, misadventure and the unexpected. Geoff Body and Bill Parker have collated a rich selection of railwaymen's memories and anecdotes to create an enjoyable book of escapades and mishaps, illustrating the daily obstacles faced on the railways, from handling the new Eurostar to train catering, nights on the Tay Bridge to rail 'traffic cops', and from mystery derailments to track subsidence. However interesting the infrastructure of the large and varied railway business may be, the real heart of this great industry lies in its people, the complex jobs they occupy and the dedicated way in which they carry them out.
For us on Tracks through Grantham there's a story called Highdyke, describing the operation of the ironstone branch from Stainby and Sproxton, and another titled The Denton Branch.
About half the book, including the Highdyke chapter, can be accessed on the internet here. To see the rest you would need to either purchase or borrow a copy. Options include a buying Kindle version. The original paperback edition is currently available from several online second-hand booksellers.